Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Christian Rest Ethic

Gen. 2:2-3

If the Christian work ethic is a moral view of work based on scripture,
then, what about a "Christian REST ethic?""
Gen. 2:2-3 - AGAIN..... with focus on "rest". "God rested from all His work". These are complimentary ideas, not opposing ideas.
Add: Ex. 20:8-11 (plus, additional sabbaths, feasts, festivals... etc.)
Sabbath literally means to cease or to stop.

So, can we conclude that:
1. As God intended His people to work (effort to produce)
2. He also intended them to take time to rest from work.
3. His intention for me is also His Will for me.
4. to ignore His known will is SIN!!

NOTE: this is not about Sabbath observance. It is about resting from labor(s).

Some of what we know.....
1. God established the concept of a day of rest. Gen. 2:2-3

2. God modeled that concept!! Gen. 2:2-3 - "God rested"

3. God commanded a day of rest.
A. wrote it into the Mosaic Law
B. May have written it into the Natural Law. - as 8 hour sleep, so 6 day work week and one day off. Most nations have a 7 day week - ancient and modern.

4. Jesus practiced the day of rest.
A. Sabbath observance though not as prescribed by the Pharisees.
B. Additional incidents - Mark 6:30-31 (promoted rest)
So.... early church adopted "day of rest" in conjunction with the Lord's day.

AGAIN: This is NOT about Sabbath observance.

It is considering the Biblical view of time off/shut down/take a break ---
As God intended
As we often fail to do!!

A 'day of rest' served (serves) several purposes:
#1. A day to rest. (sabboth literally means to cease/desist)
Obvious meaning: physical rest - Deut. 5:12-14, Ex. 34:21
Probable meaning: mental and emotional as well. Ex. 23:12 - "refreshed"

#2. A Day to remember the Lord - set aside time to focus on Him, worship Him. - Lev. 23:3, Psm. 46:10

#3. A day to identity as one of His people - non-believers know what the meeting together is about.
Ex. 31:16-17 - sign of lasting covenant. Ezek. 20:12

So.... a day of rest serves us physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually - Mark 2:27

On one hand, much has changed (not Jewish, not agrarian - don't have the physical labors that they did)
But, much is the same! (ie: needs of man, moral applications of the Law)

In addition: Scripture speaks of ....
#1. Rest in the Lord - Psalm 62:1, 5 (contrast: Job 3:26)
Point being: confidence, trust leads to inner stillness/quietude/calm/tranquil/peace
Matt. 11:28-30 - rest of the soul by trusting in Him.
Note: A. This rest comes from trusting Him ... Actively/Intentionally
B. more apt to find this rest if set aside time to focus on Him.

#2. Final Rest. 2 Sam. 7:12 (a) - "fathers" Rev. 14:13 - death of a believer - "rest"

I'm not suggesting violating "rest ethic" is as evil as thievery, idolatry, adultery, etc., or that we should reinstate legalistic observance.

I AM saying: we should give serious consideration to the Biblical Rest Ethic.....
A. the value of it. personal - corporate - kingdom
B. the right/wrong of it....

AND above all .... submit to Christ - Mark 2:27-28

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